Microelectronic Engineering Minor

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The microelectronic engineering minor provides basic integrated circuit fabrication skills to students from science and other engineering related disciplines whose career path may involve the semiconductor industry. RIT has one of the finest cleanrooms in the world specializing in undergraduate microelectronic education. This minor enables students to utilize these state-of-the-art facilities while they develop the skills they need for success in the industry. 

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in microelectronic engineering.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
  • Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).

The program code for Microelectronic Engineering Minor is MICNAN-MN.

Curriculum for Microelectronic Engineering Minor

General Chemistry for Engineers (or equivalent)
This rigorous course is primarily for, but not limited to, engineering students. Topics include an introduction to some basic concepts in chemistry, stoichiometry, First Law of Thermodynamics, thermochemistry, electronic theory of composition and structure, and chemical bonding. The lecture is supported by workshop-style problem sessions. Offered in traditional and online format. Lecture 2, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring).
Project-based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (MATH-181 or MATH-173 or 1016-282) or (MATH-171 and MATH-180) or equivalent course(s).) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
University Physics II
This course is a continuation of PHYS-211, University Physics I. Topics include electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, DC circuits, magnetic field, Ampere's law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. (Prerequisites: (PHYS-211 or PHYS-211A or PHYS-206 or PHYS-216) or (MECE-102, MECE-103 and MECE-205) and (MATH-182 or MATH-172 or MATH-182A) or equivalent courses. Grades of C- or better are required in all prerequisite courses.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring).
Required Courses
IC Technology
An introduction to the basics of integrated circuit fabrication. The electronic properties of semiconductor materials and basic device structures are discussed, along with fabrication topics including photolithography diffusion and oxidation, ion implantation, and metallization. The laboratory uses a four-level metal gate PMOS process to fabricate an IC chip and provide experience in device design - and layout (CAD), process design, in-process characterization and device testing. Students will understand the basic interaction between process design, device design and device layout. (This course is restricted to EEEE-BS or MCEE-BS students with at least 2nd year standing or with instructor approval.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall, Spring).
Thin Films
This course focuses on the deposition and etching of thin films of conductive and insulating materials for IC fabrication. A thorough overview of vacuum technology is presented to familiarize the student with the challenges of creating and operating in a controlled environment. Physical and Chemical Vapor Deposition (PVD & CVD) are discussed as methods of film deposition. Plasma etching and Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) are studied as methods for selective removal of materials. Applications of these fundamental thin film processes to IC manufacturing are presented. (Prerequisites: MCEE-201 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Choose three of the following:
   Introduction to Semiconductor Devices†
An introductory course on the fundamentals of semiconductor physics and principles of operation of basic devices. Topics include semiconductor fundamentals (crystal structure, statistical physics of carrier concentration, motion in crystals, energy band models, drift and diffusion currents) as well as the operation of pn junction diodes, bipolar junction transistors (BJT), metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors and MOS field-effect transistors. (Prerequisites: PHYS-212 or PHYS-208 and 209 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Statistics and Design of Experiments
Statistics and Design of Experiments will study descriptive statistics, measurement techniques, SPC, Process Capability Analysis, experimental design, analysis of variance, regression and response surface methodology, and design robustness. The application of the normal distribution and the central limit theorem will be applied to confidence intervals and statistical inference as well as control charts used in SPC. Students will utilize statistical software to implement experimental design concepts, analyze case studies and design efficient experiments. Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
   Semiconductor Devices for Microelectronic Engineers†
An extensive study of semiconductor physics, principles and device operation tied to realistic device structures and fabrication techniques. Topics include semiconductor fundamentals, pn junction diodes, metal-semiconductor junctions, metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), and bipolar junction transistors (BJT). Throughout the course, finite element simulation of realistic device structures (derived from a technology computer aided design tool) using a Poisson solving software package will be used to reinforce key concepts. (Prerequisites: PHYS-212 or PHYS-208 and 209 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Semiconductor Process Integration
This is an advanced level course in Integrated Circuit Devices and process technology. A detailed study of processing modules in modern semiconductor fabrication sequences will be done through simulation. Device engineering challenges such as shallow-junction formation, fin FETs, ultra-thin gate dielectrics, and replacement metal gates are covered. Particular emphasis will be placed on non-equilibrium effects. Silvaco Athena and Atlas will be used extensively for process simulation. (Prerequisites: MCEE-201 or equivalent course. Co-requisite: MCEE-360 or EEEE-260 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Lithography Materials and Processes
Microlithography Materials and Processes covers the chemical aspects of microlithography and resist processes. Fundamentals of polymer technology will be addressed and the chemistry of various resist platforms including novolac, styrene, and acrylate systems will be covered. Double patterning materials will also be studied. Topics include the principles of photoresist materials, including polymer synthesis, photochemistry, processing technologies and methods of process optimization. Also advanced lithographic techniques and materials, including multi-layer techniques for BARC, double patterning, TARC, and next generation materials and processes are applied to optical lithography. (Prerequisites: CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Nanolithography Systems
An advanced course covering the physical aspects of micro- and nano-lithography. Image formation in projection and proximity systems are studied. Makes use of optical concepts as applied to lithographic systems. Fresnel diffraction, Fraunhofer diffraction, and Fourier optics are utilized to understand diffraction-limited imaging processes and optimization. Topics include illumination, lens parameters, image assessment, resolution, phase-shift masking, and resist interactions as well as non-optical systems such as EUV, maskless, e-beam, and nanoimprint. Lithographic systems are designed and optimized through use of modeling and simulation packages. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
   CMOS Processing
A laboratory course in which students manufacture and test CMOS integrated circuits. Topics include design of individual process operations and their integration into a complete manufacturing sequence. Students are introduced to work in process tracking, ion implantation, oxidation, diffusion, plasma etch, LPCVD, and photolithography. Student learn VLSI design fundamentals of circuit simulation and layout. Analog and Digital CMOS devices are made and tested. This course is organized around multidisciplinary teams that address the management, engineering and operation of the student run CMOS factory. (Prerequisites: (EEEE-260 or MCEE-360) and MCEE-502 and MCEE-505 or equivalent courses.) Lab 4 (Fall).
   Photovoltaic Science and Engineering
This course focuses on the principle and engineering fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion. The course covers modern silicon PV devices, including the basic physics, ideal and non-ideal models, device parameters and design, and device fabrication. The course discusses crystalline, multi-crystalline, amorphous thin films solar cells and their manufacturing. Students will become familiar with basic semiconductor processes and how they are employed in solar cells manufacturing. The course further introduces third generation advanced photovoltaic concepts including compound semiconductors, spectral conversion, and organic and polymeric devices. PV applications, environmental, sustainability and economic issues will also be discussed. Evaluations include assignments and exams, a research/term paper on a current PV topic. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Metrology for Failure Analysis and Yield of ICs
Successful IC manufacturing must detect defects (the non-idealities) that occur in a process), eliminate those defects that preclude functional devices (yield enhancement), and functionality for up to ten years of use in the field (reliability). Course surveys current CMOS manufacturing to compile a list of critical parameters and steps to monitor during manufacturing. This survey is followed with an in depth look at the theory and instrumentation of the tools utilized to monitor these parameters. Tool set includes optical instrumentation, electron microscopy, surface analysis techniques, and electrical measurements. Case studies from industry and prior students are reviewed. Students are required to perform a project either exploring a technique not covered in class, or to apply their course knowledge to a practical problem. (Prerequisites: MCEE-201 or MCEE-360 or graduate student standing in the MCEE-MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Microelectronics Manufacturing
This course focuses on CMOS manufacturing. Topics include CMOS process technology, work in progress tracking, CMOS calculations, process technology, long channel and short channel MOSFET, isolation technologies, back-end processing and packaging. Associated is a lab for on-campus section (01) and a graduate paper/case study for distance learning section (90). The laboratory for this course is the student-run factory. Topics include Lot tracking, query processing, data collection, lot history, cycle time, turns, CPK and statistical process control, measuring factory performance, factory modeling and scheduling, cycle time management, cost of ownership, defect reduction and yield enhancement, reliability, process modeling and RIT's advanced CMOS process. Silicon wafers are processed through an entire CMOS process and tested. Students design unit processes and integrate them into a complete process. Students evaluate the process steps with calculations, simulations and lot history, and test completed devices. (Prerequisites: MCEE-601 or equivalent course.) Lecture 8 (Spring).
   Microelectromechanical Systems
This course will provide an opportunity for the student to become familiar with the design, fabrication technology and applications of Microelectromechanical systems. This is one of the fastest growing areas in the semiconductor business. Today's MEMS devices include accelerometers, pressure sensors, flow sensors, chemical sensors, energy harvesting and more. These devices have wide variety of applications including automotive, consumer, military, scientific, and biomedical. Students will select a MEMS device/project to be made and then design, fabricate, test, prepare a project presentation and final paper. (Prerequisites: MCEE-601 and EEEE-587 or EEEE-787 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).

* Additional prerequisites may be required based on the choice of microelectronic engineering electives.

† Students may choose Introduction to Semiconductor Devices (EEEE-260) or Semiconductor Devices for Microelectronic Engineers (MCEE-360), but not both.